Monday, June 28, 2010

push... fight... flight.

"You are like the boy who cried wolf."

My mom told me this as we were driving to the suburbs at 1:00 AM in the morning.


"You, with your facebook and your blogs and your texts... it's like you tell everybody everything so people just don't even know when you actually need help."

The events of the night would beg to differ with her analysis. Only an hour earlier, my door was pounded down by no less than five Minneapolis police officers. The head of the team was wearing a SWAT vest.

Holy Shit. Was my first thought. I wish I weren't burning incense was my second.

"Hello. Are you Susan Andersen? We got a concerned message from a friend of yours. She said you sent an upsetting text. There are some people very worried about you who are on their way over here right now."

Shit. I should have known better. There are very few circumstances in the life of a diagnosed Bipolar person when reaching out for help actually equals the kind of peaceful help the heart is seeking. No, instead it is the fucking SWAT brigade, threatening to take me to Hennepin and put me in a hold if I actually follow through on bolting like I'd threatened in the text.

Two of the officers came into my apartment. Run-ins with authority in the past have taught me to remain very calm and passive. One of the officers asked me if I am taking my medication. I offered to show it to him. The one with the SWAT vest, the only woman of the group, sat down in my living room and asked me what is going on.

I sat there, staring at her, and had a deja vu moment of crossing the border into Canada six years ago at 5:00 AM in the morning. A similar looking woman in a bullet-proof vest had asked me to step out of my vehicle and come into the immigration office. I had to sit down and chit chat with her about what the hell I was doing crossing the US/Canadian border with high heels on at 5:00 AM in the morning. She was very nice, actually. Her name was Erika and her partner's name was Duane. The funny thing was, I actually explained my intentions to them – that I was looking to relocate in Quebec and find a job. Start a new life."Oh, really, eh? Well then, the first thing you'll need to do is visit the immigration office in Montreal." Then she gave me some more advice about starting my new life in Canada and flagged me on my way.

Canadians. You gotta love 'em.

So, I thought of that distant memory as I sat facing this intimidating cop. She had a bright yellow stun gun on her left hip and a very large hand gun on her right. I was having a tough time knowing where to begin with the question, "What's going wrong in your life?" so I just started crying. "My dad is really screwed up from cancer" was the first thing that came out of my mouth..."and my job is all screwed up... So, yeah, I was getting ready to run away to Canada."

It was then that my friend Dana and her father showed up. I was internally noting that this situation should be feeling weirder than it actually did. It was not until Dana said, "Your mom is on her way over" that the Oh Shit Factor set in.

See, this is the trouble. When you are a part of a family unit that is in crisis, you are like survivors from a sinking ship just trying to get by in a rubber raft. No one can really lose it because you are all losing it collectively. I knew this, I know all this, and that's why when I hit my kill switch this weekend, the allure of simply taking my VW North looked extremely attractive.

When people say, "I am about to lose it," or, "I am going to have a nervous breakdown," what they don't know is that it is not all that glamourous. There really isn't much to offer in life when you throw in the towel. I know this because I have done it. So sometimes, the option to take flight is quite logical.

When June 11th rolled around, it was like the commemorative One Year Anniversary of September 11th for my family. It was one year ago on June 11th when my dad found out he had cancer. If I had known then what I know now about the shit we'd be dragged through... Well, let's just say I'd of had that job and new life in Quebec by about September of last year.

There are auxiliary complications that are making my life almost unlivable. But, if you read my writing and if I am The Boy Who Cried Wolf that my mother claims I am, I suppose you already know that.

Here's the thing. I don't write for you. I don't write for her. I don't write for anyone but myself. If you like reading about my life, that's great. If you don't, just ignore it as you would any other piece of Social Media crap out there. Why do I publish it in a blog? Because, you may not have experience with this, but there is nothing more freeing than airing out your dirty thoughts to the world. It is perhaps the most cathartic thing I can think of. And in the past, when I have written questionable posts, such as Hotel Vertigo or Nightmare Journeys, I wake up terrified that I exposed myself, only to find that at least one other lonely soul out there was uber appreciative of my candor.

Transparency. I think you have to have it if you are going to attempt to create anything of any value. Tonight I was in a bad way and I wrote what most assuredly will embarrass my ego tomorrow. But it is Truth. It is Transparent. It is Real.

There is this song by the band Keane. It's called A Bad Dream. I've been listening to it on repeat while pounding out this post. I listen to it when I fly and I relate to the lyrics like the song was written for me.

Why do I have to fly

over every town up and down the line?

I'll die in the clouds above
and you that I defend, I do not love.

I wake up, it's a bad dream,
No one on my side,
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired
to be fighting,
guess I'm not the fighting kind.

Where will I meet my fate?
Baby I'm a man, I was born to hate.
And when will I meet my end?
In a better time you could be my friend.

I wake up, it's a bad dream,
No one on my side,
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired
to be fighting,
guess I'm not the fighting kind.
Wouldn't mind it
if you were by my side
But you're long gone,
yeah you're long gone now.

Where do we go?
I don't even know,
My strange old face,
And I'm thinking about those days,
And I'm thinking about those days.

Hm. I just love that song.

Anyway, I am not sure what else to say. Writing about this night feels extremely juvenile. Hell, maybe I am To Boy Who Cried Wolf. But, in the end, what did he really want anyway? Attention? A better tomorrow? I don't know.

Sometimes I am not even sure what it is that I want. A better tomorrow would be nice. Some peace and quiet and acknowledgment would be nice. Maybe some pinky movement from my Dad.

Uh. Probably a millions dollars would do it. Before, or after taxes, either way.


  1. Susan,

    You and I are different in so many ways. For one, I am not nearly as deep and philosophical as you and your dad. I get bored sometimes of conversation and often want to sleep more than I want to talk. I hope I am not shallow and think I might not be b/c I rather talk about the things you write about than anything small. But, we are alike in one way. I am all about transparency. I appreciate that you can be real and you can be vulnerable. Thanks for your post!

  2. Snoosisie,
    I just read this post right now. I miss you and your amazingness. I feel so lucky to have you as my bff. xoxoxox from thousands of miles away...your friend Dana, from above :)